Important motorcycle safety tips that all riders need to know
Did you know that motorcycles have become so popular that they almost sold out in 2021? If you’re one of the lucky Americans who purchased a motorcycle already or are planning to, there are many motorcycle safety tips you should know.
In this article, we’ll explore motorcycle safety for you and your loved ones. If you’re a parent of a teen with a motorcycle, these tips will help you keep peace of mind, too.
Get the right gear
Motorcycle safety starts with your body. There are no situations where you should ride without the right safety gear. Your health and safety come first and that means getting the right gear before you take your first ride.
Helmet comes first
A full helmet is a key aspect of motorcycle safety gear. Covering your full face doesn’t just protect your aesthetics, it protects your skull. Part of choosing the best helmet is not about style, it’s about the fit.
Comfort isn’t the most important part of a motorcycle helmet. With a full helmet, the chin strap tightness is the most important aspect. If you’re wearing a comfy helmet, but you can slip your thumb under the chin strap, pick a different helmet.
When the chin strap is at its tightest, you shouldn’t be able to get your thumb under it. You definitely shouldn’t be able to slip it off. If you can slip off the chin strap, that means your helmet could easily come off if you crash.
While most websites will suggest a 3/4 or 1/2 helmet, where your head isn’t fully covered, these aren’t as safe as a full helmet. You’d be amazed how many bugs you’re going to eat if your mouth is open to the elements while you ride.
The last thing you want is to be driving down a country road, inhaling a bug, and choking yourself off your bike. Get a full helmet. You won’t regret it!
Jacket and jeans / pants
Even if it’s over a hundred degrees outside, you should always wear a jacket and full jeans or pants when you go out on your bike. When you buy your jacket and pants, you should anticipate wearing the same jacket for the rest of your riding days.
Again, this isn’t a style tip. Your jacket needs to be the most durable thing you own. Leather is a popular choice for a motorcycle jacket and pant material. There are also plenty of synthetic materials available.
One motorcycle rider safety tip that most people forget is the physical fit of your jacket and pants. The last thing you want is your jacket and pants to billow while you cruise through America’s highways.
While a looser-fitting jacket might feel more comfortable, it’s going to make you very cold! Something tight-fitting, durable, with plenty of internal and external pockets, is exactly what you want.
No matter what fashion look you’re going for, you don’t want to wear any lace-up shoes on your motorcycle. Ever. Laces can come undone and get stuck in the moving parts of your bike.
You’ll risk damaging your bike and yourself with improper boots. We recommend getting boots that protect both your foot and your ankle.
Motorcycle-specific boots are the best on the market, so don’t cheap out when buying the best boots for you. Just be sure that whatever you choose is as comfortable as possible!
Most motorcycle maintenance you can do yourself. You don’t need to pay huge sums of money to a mechanic to make sure your bike is in full working order.
Changing the oil, replacing air filters, and ensuring you’ve maintained tire pressure and tread all add up to your safety. Making sure your motorcycle is in working order reduces the likelihood of a technical failure on the road.
When you invest in a motorcycle, you’re buying more than just a vehicle. You’re investing in a new way of life. Prepare to spend weekends and evenings tinkering with your machine to keep it in perfect working order.
While it might take time, great motorcycle maintenance could save your life. Get to know your motorcycle like it’s a new family member. That way, you can be prepared for anything that might go wrong, and you can fix it yourself!
Safety on the road
You’ll have probably gone through at least one motorcycle safety course to get your motorcycle license. One of the core parts of motorcycle safety is patience when you’re on the road.
As a motorcyclist, you’re going to be treated as a nuisance by almost all other drivers. While you need a lot of confidence when you ride your machine, being road-ready and safe includes a lot of knowledge.
You need to have eyes in the back of your head when riding on a busy road. However, quieter stretches can pose threats, too. Riding on an empty road is most motorcyclists’ dream.
Empty roads are certainly idyllic, but when was the last time they were maintained? In some countries, half of all motorcycle accidents have nothing to do with other drivers, but with road issues.
As you head out on a ride, keep an eye on the road ahead of you. Avoid all cracks, potholes, and other issues as much as possible.
High-visibility jackets (HVJ) might not sound super cool, but neither is a serious injury. If you’re planning to ride in the dark or heavy weather, like fog, a HVJ is your best friend.
Most motorcycles have some type of reflective design. Adding these reflective strips to your jacket, helmet, even your boots, adds an extra layer of motorcycle safety.
Riding your motorcycle in the rain, snow, and excessive heat is all about practice. While cars might seem safe when in the elements, motorcycles offer a lot more protection than you might realize.
On a motorcycle, you can see far more of what’s around you. You have an unrestricted view of your surroundings. Being able to see so much of what’s around you means you shouldn’t have to make risky last-minute maneuvers.
Of course, there are some basic things you should be aware of when riding in rough weather. The first of these are slick concrete surfaces. Manhole covers can also become slippery, as do railroad tracks.
Never, ever trust a puddle. While it is fun to ride through them, you never know how deep they might go!
Don’t overestimate your skills
The number one motorcycle safety riding tip for new riders (and the family of riders) is not to overestimate your abilities. While having confidence is a big part of safe riding, no rider is perfect.
The key to staying safe on motorcycles is to stay alert and sensible. Do not show off on your bike to impress someone. You don’t need to get into a street race to prove your street cred.
Having a bike is a form of freedom that most people want to explore, but only a few can truly embrace the lifestyle. The most important part of maintaining that lifestyle is staying safe.
While you can’t mitigate all dangers when riding your motorcycle, you can cut them down by being a sensible rider. Many motorcyclists go to track days to improve their skills and confidence.
Riding on a track as often as possible will help you form a deep relationship with your bike, your gear, and your natural skills. It’ll also help shed light on the areas you may need to improve upon.
Tech and motorcycle safety tips
If you or a family member rides a motorcycle, have you considered Life360’s driving safety tools? The lifesaving features offered include crash detection and emergency dispatch.
Life360’s Crash Detection can sense any collision over 25 mph. The tool immediately gets in contact with the driver or passenger. If we don’t hear a response, we’ll send a message to emergency contacts and services.
When a driver or rider is added to your Circle, you’ll be able to see how their driving and riding have been for the week. We recommend this option for the parents of motorcyclists!
Want to know more?
Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is something we all strive for. Integrating these motorcycle safety tips into your daily riding can help reduce the risk of any dangerous crashes or accidents.
Another safety tip would be trying out Life360’s wide range of safety features. Our Crash Detection, Emergency Dispatch and Roadside Assistance can help keep you safe and family members informed if you have a crash or other problem on the road. You never have to ride alone when you have us in your pocket!